December 6, 2023
SHARE
COMMONS
CULTS 8 – The Eye of the Pyramid
MLMs have become such a ubiquitous part of North American life that their tenets are rarely ever questioned.
Arshy Mann
Host & Producer
Jordan Cornish
Producer
Noor Azrieh
Producer

Multi-level marketing isn’t based on rational business logic. It’s not even built on irrational business logic. It’s ideology. It’s faith.

MLMs have become such a ubiquitous part of North American life that their tenets are rarely ever questioned. The sector holds enormous political sway. Millions of people join, leave and rejoin every year, almost all of them ending up poorer for the experience.

And to call it a cult is not just a cute turn of phrase. The cultishness of MLMs is essential to their success.

 

Featured in this episode: Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Julie Anderson

 

To learn more:

Ponzinomics: The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing by Robert L. Fitzpatrick

“How lobbying dollars prop up pyramid schemes” by Matt Stroud in The Verge

YouTube: @JulieAndersonvideos

Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise by Stephen Butterfield

 

Credits: Arshy Mann (Host and Producer), Jordan Cornish (Producer), Noor Azrieh (Producer), Aviva Lessard (Additional Production) Annette Ejiofor (Managing Editor), Karyn Pugliese (Editor-in-Chief)

 

Additional music from Audio Network

 

Sponsors: Douglas, Oxio, Athletic Greens 

 

If you value this podcast, Support us! You’ll get premium access to all our shows ad free, including early releases and bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter, discounts on merch, tickets to our live and virtual events, and more than anything, you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis, you’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. 

 

You can listen ad-free on Amazon Music—included with Prime.

More from this series
Mandalena Lewis is one of far too many flight attendants who have been harassed or assaulted on the job. And her story is just one example of a culture of sexism and abuse that she alleges pervades the airline industry.
June 12, 2024
In 2006, Zakaria Amara was arrested and imprisoned for planning what could have been one of the deadliest terror attacks in Canadian history. A ringleader of the so-called “Toronto 18,” he’s one of the most infamous Canadian convicts of the last few decades.  This conversation is the first time he’s ever given an interview to a member of the press.
June 5, 2024
♩♪ But Spotify, it’s nearly killed us Ticketmaster’s ground us to dust The companies got too large Now monopolies are in charge ♩♪
May 29, 2024
Not only do Canadian prisoners work for for-profit businesses, but they’re sometimes doing the most dangerous and nauseating work around
May 22, 2024
If we want to truly understand our criminal justice system and Canadian labour, we need to examine how prisoners work.
May 15, 2024
In Newfoundland and Labrador, fishing is more than just an industry or a job. It truly is a way of life. It’s at the core of what has made this place what it is.
May 8, 2024
The history of the Atlantic fishery can be understood as a power struggle between fishermen and merchants.
May 1, 2024
This isn’t just history. It’s prophecy. It’s a vision of what may come if we continue to ignore the ecological limits of this planet in the pursuit of profit.
April 24, 2024
all podcasts arrow All Podcasts
COMMONS